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Ravello first or last?

UK
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Ravello first or last?

Planning a trip to Amalfi coast for next May or June - two questions. First, should I stay in Ravello, first or last? Planning to stay in Positano and Capri too. Have heard that Ravello might be the icing on the cake. We are interested in the music festival there.

Secondly, would you recommend visiting in May or early June?

Thanks for any tips/advice!

Wilmington, DE
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1. Re: Ravello first or last?

Hi Londoner,

I haven't stayed in Ravello or Capri but have stayed in Positano 2x. A couple of things come to mind.

We considered a day trip to Capri, during a 4 day stay in Positano. After talking to friends who had been to both Positano and Capri. Their advice was to leave Capri for another trip, while both are beautiful, they said the experience and view was pretty similar so why spend the time coming and going, packing and unpacking, etc.

So it it were me and it were my first trip to the Amalfi Coast and my time was limited, I'd do Positano and day trip to Ravello.

That said, I really would like to spend the night or two (max) in Ravello and take in a concert. I don't know that first or last makes as much of a difference. Both places take some work to get to from Naples or Salerno depending on where you will arrive. And both are stunners! Maybe save your 'best hotel' for last.

On May or June, May is likely to be a little less crowded. I've been in May and Sept. Ferries and buses were running both times. The weather won't be that much different from one or two weeks. I don't know when Ravello post the concert schedule so that could influence your decision.

Hope this helps a little.

Happy planning,

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Ravello first or last?

Here's 2012 Ravello Music Festival schedule so you have some idea of when the festival MAY happen next year. This year it began on June 23 and ended Sept 1.

thatsamalfi.com/news/ravello-music-festival/

It is lovely up there. I always stay in Positano and then go up for the day to Ravello. I like to stay close to the beach/sea - I like to pop out of my room and head down to the seaside and not have to take a bus as you do from Ravello to reach the seaside. But, the views up there are spectacular and if you don't care about being away from the sea, I would think it would nice during both months with June likely being warmer.

I don't see what the difference would be in whether you stay in one or other first or last. I would say it might be based on what concert you want to see and the date of the concert but you won't know when you book since you need to book places in the Amalfi Coast so early these days for the high season.

It is all personal choice - I don't find Ravello the "icing on the cake" - I prefer Positano and Capri but everyone has their own personal favorite spots and finding which is yours is most of the fun.

New York
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3. Re: Ravello first or last?

Sorry Trevi, but I disagree about not staying in Capri and Positano on the same trip. This past year at the beginning of June I spent 3 nights in Capri and 4 nights in Positano both of which I had done day trips to on previous trips.

The experience was very different in each. The only similarities that I found were they are both stunning destinations and both on the sea. I'm already booked next year for 7 nights in Positano and will be booking in Capri for the same trip. There's just so much I didn't get to do and I absolutely love them both.

I agree with MomCat that for me Ravello is not the "icing on the cake". Although very lovely it's too quiet (for me) and not accessible to the sea unless you take a 20 minute bus ride which I do not prefer. That being said everyone does have their favorites and it's all a personal choice.

Enjoy wherever you choose to stay. They're all beautiful!

UK
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4. Re: Ravello first or last?

Thank you everyone for your advice. Very helpful. I understand there are some concerts outside the festival too, so we might try to catch those. I'm intrigued by Ravello, because of the history and they say that staying the night there is magical when everyone else has left.

I hear what you're saying about Capri - it looks stunning and a day trip might be a better option.

Now I'm confused about the array of hotels - there is so much choice! I've been seriously seduced by Villa Cimbrone as a place to stay at least one night. Tempted to splurge on some of the accomodations but all the hotels look fantastic! I might just have to stay a couple of nights in each.

By the way, why are Americans so in love with Amalfi? It seems a long way to travel and I don't think George Clooney has bought a villa there :))

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Ravello first or last?

Once you go you might know the answer to why people (not just Americans) love the area. I can't imagine why anyone would care what Clooney buys and where - This area of Italy has long been popular for its beauty as has Capri - many decades and well, when you see some of the historic spots on Capri, you will know it is really for a few thousands years in fact.

Though the AC is no longer a favorite of mine in high season which is just too crowded for me - I adore it in off and shoulder seasons. Most places that I have been going to in Italy for a few decades now have become very touristed in the past decade - and even more so just in the past five years. Low cost airlines within the EU (and elsewhere) makes it possible for people to travel more often and, of course, the internet and the whole bizarre notion of "must sees" and "must dos" and voila, crazy crowds appear in places most mentioned on the internet.

Splurge on the hotel in Ravello - why not if you can afford it? You cannot be disappointed in whichever choices you make as to village/island you choose - it is all beautiful.

I don't move hotels when I go - I stay either in Positano or Capri for about 7 days at a time - I don't like moving around so much, especially in such a small region.

I would though strongly suggest considering spending one night on Capri - it is like a completely different place when the daytrippers depart. Just delightful but the nice thing about Capri too is that much of the island is not heaving with tourists; lots of people never explore beyond the piazzetta, the chairlift, the Blue Grotto in part because on a day trip, you just don't have time to see all the treasures - some ancient in nature. It is an stunning place but I think I would hate it if I ever just went for one day.

When you arrive in Marina Grande, it is a chaotic, bursting at the seams marina and if I had never been years ago before it got quite so crazy, I'd probably just stay on the boat and never get off. Then everyone lines up for the funicular and in high season, that is, well, ugh. Last time I was there, I split a taxi with two other people just to get away faster from the marina.

The beauty is that within just minutes you can be away from the piazzetta and in areas where there are few people around and then you can tackle the easy, medium and harder hikes; go down to the water, swim - and just relax and enjoy the beauty.

How many days are you going for?

Voorhees, New Jersey
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6. Re: Ravello first or last?

I visited the area in September; stayed in Ravello, spent a day on Capri, and drove through and boated by Positano. I found Ravello to be enchanting. I found Capri to be as overtly "touristy" as any place I have been to in Europe. Perhaps at a certain price point, one can visit Capri and avoid the hordes of tourists, but this would involve a villa, I would think.

Others have pointed out the key difference between Positano and Ravello, which is the proximity of the water. Positano also is much larger, with many more restaurants and such. The nicer areas in Ravello are vehicle-free. It has plenty of nice places to eat, charming shops, and views that make you feel like you are in a fantasy land. In the evenings, it is dream-like. For me, "icing on the cake" is a perfect description. I have every intention of returning.

UK
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7. Re: Ravello first or last?

Thanks Momcat and thebowl for your input. I'm so captivated by the Amalfi coast now and wish that next year could come sooner! I'm planning to go for maybe 10 days.

It sounds like I should leave the best till last - Ravello, working my way up via Positano and Capri - JK Place looks like a fantastic hotel for one night!

I think I would like to stay in Positano too - like that quote Hemingway made.

Thanks again everyone for your advice.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Ravello first or last?

In 10 days, I wouldn't do more than 3 places though I'd probably just stick to two - but, it is a nice amount of time to get familiar with the area.

And, one does NOT need to stay in a villa to enjoy untouristed parts of Capri as I said in my post above - it is a cinch to escape the hordes within minutes because frankly, the daytrippers congregate in just a few areas.

Do explore Via Tragara on Capri - take the very easy/sort of moderate hike up to Arco Naturale. I have done that many times and rarely see more than 2 or 3 people, even in high season. It is a glorious walk - watch out for the teeny tiny lizards - they are so cute and you wouldn't want to squish one.

As lovely as JK Palace looks, I would not recommend staying near Marina Grande - that is a sheer madhouse and you will be pretty far from the charm of the island by being in that location.

Here's my suggestion: Villa Brunella

http://www.villabrunella.it/en/index

Villa Brunella is on Via Tragara and if you are going to spend the money for JK Palace, try for one of the large rooms above the pool area at Brunella (IF it looks nice to you). Simply stunning view. You will be about a 10 minute walk to the piazzetta along Via Tragara where, again, there are few people but beautiful views and at the other end of Via Tragara is where you can walk down to the Faraglioni - great place to swim, have lunch - after a nice hike down to the sea: the Faraglioni: www.capri.com/en/c/da-luigi-ai-faraglioni-3

I've stayed numerous times and have always loved it but then I prefer boutique hotels. They also have a terrific restaurant.

Gorgeous!

Have fun planning!

UK
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9. Re: Ravello first or last?

Thanks very much for the recommendation of Villa Brunella - it looks like it might be a better option for a first-timer and better value than JK Place.

10. Re: Ravello first or last?

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